THE NEW COVENANT HAS MADE THE OLD OBSOLETE

According to the Hebrews letter, Jesus couldn’t have ever become a priest because He was from the line of Judah. In order to be a priest during the Old Covenant period one had to come from the line of Levi. Once the author of Hebrews establishes this, he goes on to tell us why. Because the priesthood of Levi, which was also known as the Law, could never perfect the worshiper, God revealed a New Covenant. Whenever the priesthood changes there arises the necessity of a new law also. You see whereas the Old Covenant of the Law, and the priesthood coming from Levi, was a Covenant which was destined to end because it had only earthly men as priest. In the New Covenant a new priest arises, who is after the order of Melchizedek, which isn’t based on the physical requirement of coming from Levi rather it is based on the power of an indestructible life. So, like the mysterious Melchizedek, Jesus is priest forever because He will never die, and so will never need another to take His place.

Well, okay so Jesus is now priest forever so what about the New Covenant? Let’s compare the Old with the New for a minute. The Old Covenant was based on the worshipper’s commitment to God. God says, for instance, keep my commandments and the worshipper says, “Whatever you say we’ll do.” If the truth’s told no one could ever fulfill God’s commandments, it’s just that we tend to take a long time to discover this. The good news is God has always known this and at just the right time, He did something about it. He offers us a New way.

The first Covenant had troubles because we simply couldn’t live up to our end of the deal. So now God institutes something else. He says, “I will effect a New Covenant…not like the covenant before…no. This is the covenant that I will make with you now. I will put my laws into your minds, and I will write them on your hearts. I will be your God, and you shall be my people.” You see this New Covenant is entirely one sided. The old one required us to perform up to a perfect standard of righteousness. In the new one God is going to do it all. That’s right, you heard me!

The Old Covenant’s priesthood, sacrificial system, Temple and altar and everything has been superseded. Christ is greater than the Old Covenant priest, sacrifices, temple and everything. “For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.” There is nothing left for us to do. God has done everything He is ever going to do for us in His Son Jesus Christ! I know that’s a profound statement but I encourage you to search this out for yourselves. Read Hebrews chapters 8-10 and see if I’m steering you wrong. These chapters even go as far as to say, while the blood of bulls and goats could cleanse the worshipper’s flesh, the sacrifice of Christ himself can even cleanse our consciousness of sins. What, even the consciousness of sins? This truly is good news isn’t it?

Louie

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BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WORSHIP

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “A person will worship something, have no doubt about that. We may think our tribute is paid in secret in the dark recesses of our hearts, but it will out. That which dominates our imaginations and our thoughts will determine our lives, and our character. Therefore, it behooves us to be careful what we worship, for what we are worshiping we are becoming.” Eventually, what dominates our innermost thoughts and imaginations comes forth as that to which we give our allegiance and worship. Indeed, long before Emerson, Jesus warned similarly that where our treasure is there our hearts will be also.

Be Still and Know that I am God

Shhh listen. Can you hear Him? I know things are distracting you, aren’t they? That’s what the enemy does, or is it the enemy? Could it be that moment, which defines what you are made of? God often uses things to move us, either in thought or action. My life has taken on some major changes and the answer is not clear at this moment on what to do. One thing I know for sure is I can trust the Lord and lean not unto my own understanding. I am reminded that anything that is not of faith is sin (Romans 14:23)

As I looked over the crowd in room 954 at the Christian County Jail, girls were tearing up because they too are distracted at things around them and don’t know what to do. We all want to do the right thing, but how can we know what that is? The verse that comes to me says, Rejoice always, pray without ceasing and in everything give thanks, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus  (I Thes. 5:16-18).

Could it be that easy? I think it is if you are born again, because He is living His life inside you and He will move us into obedience. It works best like that and the result is the fruit of the Spirit. Just like when our bodies get enough water, sleep and exercise; so it is with our Spirit, which works best through faith and love. The storm is raging in our soul and that will change in the next moment. The thing that matters is faith expressing itself through love.

There was one line in the video; “The Lump,” from Rob Bell, that caught the attention of every one of us in the room. It said, “There’s nothing you can do to make me love you less.” He was talking about his son who had hid himself under the cover in the middle of his bed because of the shame he felt for being caught in a lie. God also tells us that, there is nothing we could do to make Him love us less; that is because He already knows we can’t do anything on our own and we need Him.

Rhema Word came to tell the girls about how they made it through life so far through Jesus. Sha Jackson, Linda Parks, JoAnn Stanley, Tammy Carr and I agreed that all we have to do is trust God for everything in our lives. We talked about how we have all been in darkness, sin and self destruction, but Jesus is the Light and He will chip away all things that don’t look like Him, by finding out what the Word of God says. God already knows, we can’t hide from Him because wherever you go, that’s where you are and He knows you inside and out. He made you.

As I was talking with Sweetness tonight, she was telling me “you don’t know Jesus is all you need until Jesus is all you got.” She had to come to the place in her life where she was quiet, and that was when she came to jail. Right now is the time to be still and know that God is who He says He is, she said out loud. She felt alone in her shame abandoned by her guilt and wanted to give up to the point of death. That is when she saw Jesus there with open arms, waiting for her. She received Him and has never looked back. Two more weeks she rejoiced, “I still don’t have a job or a place to live, but I don’t care. Because I know God is keeping me and He has it all worked out. I am so excited to see what He has for me.” She learned to be still, which means to stop striving, and know that He is God.

Written by Tracey